THEA Completes Bond Sale for Financing of the Selmon West Extension
August 24, 2017 – Tampa, FL – The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is pleased to announce that it has completed a $157 million bond sale to finance the Selmon West Extension.
THEA had six times the offers – over $1 billion in orders – for the offering. Because of this overwhelming interest in investing in the Tamp Bay regions, THEA was able to reprice the bonds, thus saving over $800,000 in interest costs.
“The strong demand for the bonds is a reflection of the Authority’s solid financial condition, the positive reception of the project, and interest to invest in our community, said Vincent J. Cassidy, Chairman of THEA’s Board of Directors. “Investors see our region as a good place to put their money based on our strong demographic trends and prospect for continued economic growth as evidenced by other sizeable infrastructure projects in development and on the horizon,” Cassidy continued.
In addition to the strong economy and economic outlook, THEA also received rating news in the last two weeks. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings raised its long-term and underlying ratings on THEA’s outstanding revenue bonds from A to A+. At the same time, S&P also assigned its A+ rating to THEA’s Series 2017 Bonds for the financing of the Selmon West Extension. In addition, Moody’s Investor Services assigned its rating of A2 on THEA’s Series 2017 Bonds and affirms the A2 on THEA’s outstanding parity senior bonds.
THEA’s management team, traffic and revenue consultant, general engineering consultant, financial advisor and Board Chairman presented to both rating agencies in July. THEA’s team reported strong traffic and revenue growth in recent years, steady population growth that provides adequate demand for the expressway, and the strong demand for the Selmon Expressway as an essential commuter facility. The A+ and A2 ratings from S&P and Moody’s respectively are reflective of their confidence in THEA’s financial strength and capabilities of operating and maintaining the Selmon Expressway and were an important factor in investor interest.
Proceeds from the Bonds will provide the Authority funding for capital projects, including the Selmon West Extension Project, which will offer travelers a direct connection to the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, alleviating the traffic congestion on Gandy Boulevard and creating greater capacity and access to neighborhoods and businesses.
“THEA is well positioned over the next five years due to well-maintained physical assets and current capital program” stated Amy Lettelleir, THEA’s Chief Financial Officer. THEA’s revenue bonds and the agreement provides THEA with operational autonomy and complete control over revenues.
“We’re very happy with the ratings we received” said Mr. Cassidy.
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